On the first stop of our downtown progressive dinner last Saturday, I tapped my cellphone to my wine glass in order to get everyone’s attention for an announcement. “D-flat,” stated Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony‘s new conductor, in a matter-of-fact tone. “What?” I asked. “That’s a D-flat,” he said, referring to the sound that emanated when I tapped the glass.
Demirjian, who along with his new wife, Caraline Craig, was a guest of honor for our dinner, explained that he has what is known as “absolute pitch.” That, according to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge), is “a rare auditory phenomenon characterized by the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone.” Researchers estimate that about 1 in 10,000 people have absolute pitch.
This, I thought, is not a bad characteristic for a music director. On the other hand, however, Demirjian related that he is color blind.
As many readers of the Blue Streak know, a group of us downtown residents hold a progressive dinner a few times a year, and we often invite an extra couple to join as our guests. Our motive in this is to convince the invited couple to follow our lead and move downtown. We have been very successful with this strategy. Now we have Aram and Caraline in our sights. We chose an Italian theme on Saturday and started our evening at the lovely home of Monique and Bruce Anderson in The Glencoe, located at 615 State St.
I don’t know if Aram and Caraline ultimately will choose to live downtown. But, if they don’t, it won’t be because we didn’t give it the old college try!
As a bonus, here’s Gay’s fabulous Italian meat loaf recipe:
½ c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
½ c. ketchup
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
¾ c. finely chopped onion
¾ c. chopped fresh basil
½ c. shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese
2 egg whites
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground round
For the topping: 1/3 c. ketchup
Preheat oven to 350. Combine first nine ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. I wear disposable gloves and mix by hand. It takes a while to get everything completely combined. You’ll know you’re finished when you don’t see any bread crumbs in the bottom of the bowl.
Shape into an oval or rectangular loaf on a broiler pan coated with olive oil cooking spray. Or make into mini loaves. Brush 1/3 c. ketchup onto meat loaf—top and sides. Bake one hour or until meat thermometer registers 160. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. (If making mini-loaves, cooking time will be less. Rely on your thermometer.)